While brick and mortar retail may not be dying, it is certainly shrinking. The Boston Consulting Group posits that nearly 60% of luxury purchases are “digitally influenced” via online research. I’ve written previously on this topic,  applauding changes that traditional retailers such as Nordstrom, Home Depot and PetSmart are making to integrate online shopping into their model.

Saks Fifth Avenue, however, has taken the movement into a new dimension. Saks’ newest store, “Saks Downtown” in lower Manhattan boasts several innovative features which distinguish it as a bricks/online hybrid:

  • In-store sales associates trained to develop a strong social media presence, connecting with local shoppers and maintaining online dialogues.
  • A circular layout with open sight lines, recreating the endless browsing available online.
  • Centrally located fitting rooms outfitted like the living rooms in which online shoppers try on apparel.
  • Flat displays mimicking online shopping
  • A digital tool on the website which pairs a shopper with an associate.

Saks is already seeing an increase in the average purchase made in the store. Additional information is available in a WSJ article of 9/28/16.